Heston's Dine in range at Waitrose
I have always quite liked a ready meal, it has become a bit of a guilty pleasure that I've not given up since my student days, so was vary happy to review the new Heston range from Waitrose. However I was aware that Andrew was a far tougher audience than me so I made him join in on this one.
On arrival I was slightly disappointed by the selection of meals, as they were all rather mince based and very traditional ready meal type dishes. However, that was where the similarity to the standard ready meal ended.
Our first "Heston" meal was after Thea's christening when we needed something quick, easy and tasty after a busy day. Andrew tried the shepherd's pie and I had lasagne. Both far exceeded expectations and we fought over each other's plates. They were not only by far the best ready meals either of us has eaten, but frankly they were almost the nicest lasagne and shepherds pie!
Both had high quality and good meat content and were rich and full flavoured without the fatty taste of most ready meals, and appeared to be missing the usual bulking agents. The sauce on the shepherd pie was really distinctive and we picked out a few of the flavours like star anise, but could never have guessed the entire contents, as the ingredients list is amazingly extensive. It appears that Heston has put a lot of effort into achieving a seriously high quality taste and product.
The chilli con carne that I had for lunch the following day was also delicious but probably not as exceptional, and sadly the carrots did not convert either Andrew or myself (but neither of us has ever liked carrots).
The mash potato got a larger tasting after I forgot to cook any potatoes for a girlie dinner at mine, and frankly I could not have made such delicious mash. It's the first time I have served a ready meal item to guests, but it will probably not be the last now.
The real seal of approval is that Andrew the ready meal "hater" has asked if we can pick up a few in our next shop. I am very much looking forward to trying the rest of the range, macaroni cheese with truffle sounds divine...
PWT rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Heston's Dine In range, exclusive to Waitrose, are all priced at £4.89 except the side dishes: mash potato £2.99 and carrots with caraway butter £2.69.